Day 5

Saul Anointed King

from the 1 & 2 Samuel reading plan


1 Samuel 9:1-27, 1 Samuel 10:1-27, Psalm 2:1-12, Ephesians 1:15-23

BY Rebecca Faires

Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 9:1-27, 1 Samuel 10:1-27, Psalm 2:1-12, Ephesians 1:15-23

Have you ever asked for something you didn’t need? Ten years ago, my husband took a shine to cycling. Bicycling. He hadn’t engaged in the sport before, but he knew how to ride a bike. And since riding a bike is literally a metaphor for something you can never forget, how could I possibly find a flaw in his plan?

As he researched the sport, he decided he needed vintage cycling jerseys. (I understand his wanting to look like an Italian racecar driver from the ‘40s. It’s a great look.) During these years we were poor school teachers, eating pasta for every meal. Extra purchases hurt us right in the grocery budget, but nevertheless, vintage cycling jerseys were purchased.

When these gorgeous, fabled items arrived in the mail, we admired their magisterial purples and heraldic sables. But what came next, gentle reader, is what pains me the very most: he never wore them. It turns out my husband loves neither cycling nor the wearing of spandex-y garments. But since we shelled out so much money for them, we’ve held on to them for three moves. To this day, they remain stashed away in our attic, still in their original packaging.

We just had to have them. But we didn’t need them!

Israel asked for something they didn’t need: a king. They started looking around at their neighbors—the Philistines, Moabites, and the Ammonites—for a model of how they wanted to live. They wanted a king like all the other nations, but their misplaced trust in an earthly king was a foolish rejection of God. Israel were His chosen people; He didn’t want them to live like the rest of the world. But they insisted on getting their own way, and He gave them exactly what they asked for.

Saul was a flashy, handsome guy who was physically “impressive” (1 Samuel 9:2), but spiritually dull and cowardly (1 Samuel 10:22). Of course, our inclination in reading this passage is to focus on Saul, just like Israel did. But the impressive and miraculous signs, even his prophesying, ultimately do not point to Saul’s fitness, but God’s.

When those wicked men asked, “How can this guy save us?” they were doubling down on their doubt of God’s provision (1 Samuel 10:27). They wanted a king, so God gave them Saul—a man literally head and shoulders above all the rest in Israel—to rule over them. When he shows up, they still doubt. Ironically, this doubting of God’s provision would later be Saul’s undoing as well.

Wherever the Spirit of the Lord is at work, we ought never doubt of God’s provision. But if God’s Spirit does not lead the way, we ought not go forth. The real importance of this passage is simply this: God works His mercies by His Spirit, even amongst a rebellious people.

This theme should be familiar, because the real story of God’s Anointed One is not about Saul. Saul’s kingship was an ironic foreshadowing of the true Anointed One, Christ. May our hearts seek first His kingdom. May we look to Him to provide us with what we truly need, rather than trying to build a kingdom of our own making.

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Post Comments (61)

61 thoughts on "Saul Anointed King"

  1. Judy says:

    Fellow travelers through this exciting study, remember and recall how nothing in a Christ-follower’s life is a coincidence! God consistently sends people or situations alongside us to help or guide something happening (or about to happen) in our daily lives. Down to the smallest detail! The person who lets you enter the busy traffic lane at rush hour, the neighbor or stranger who asks, “Can I help you”? Think for a moment on those times and be reminded He is the Supplier of our needs. Saul chose one of the servants to accompany him looking for his father’s lost donkeys. There were obviously more servants but the one chosen is that servant who will: 1) know about the prophet, and 2) possess the silver coin to bring as a gift and…to trust the “holy man will tell us how to proceed”. A God-orchestration. What was yours today?

  2. Susanna says:

    Wow. “God works His mercies by his Spirit, even amongst a rebellious people.” How relevant that is today! Our culture is more rebellious than ever. Yet through the pain, hatefulness, and our nations deliberabte ignorance of God, he still works his Mercies.

  3. ed sheeran cd says:

    Wow, you seem to be very knowledgable about this kind of topics.”-”;’

    http://www.edsheeran.co.uk

  4. Jennifer Peck says:

    Hidden Among the Baggage

    1 Samuel 10

    Samuel has anointed Saul in preparation for becoming Israel’s first king. In verse 6 Samuel prophesied that the Spirit of God would come upon Saul in power and he “will be changed into a different person”. When we are filled with the Spirit we cannot remain the same. The Holy Spirit leaves a distinguishing mark in our lives that others take notice. Saul experienced the power of God in such a way that those who knew him recognized that he was changed and even asked: “what has happened to the son of Kish?” (v.11) Yet, despite this powerful encounter with God, Saul was still insecure and uncertain of himself and God’s calling on his life. As Samuel gathered all the tribe of Israel to announce Saul as king, Saul is nowhere to be found. In verse 22 the Lord reveals that Saul “has hidden himself among the baggage”. Rather than step forward into the call of God on his life Saul is hidden among the baggage. I often find myself identifying with Saul in dealing with doubts and insecurities of stepping into God’s purpose for my life. Like Saul, I too, have baggage in my life that I hide behind hoping no one will see me for who I really am. Saul’s weakness was in fixing his eyes on his own weaknesses and limitations rather than the power of God. I pray that I will boast in my weakness knowing that when I am weak he is strong.

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